Weekly Energy News Update-November 11th

Apologies for a lapse in the Weekly Update while I was attending Aquatech Amsterdam 2017 and taking a much needed but brief rest in Prague. This weeks update is a bit longer than usual.

I want to start this week off by sharing a timely article from Dissent written by plant scientist Stan Cox.

Renewables Alone Won’t Save Us (Dissent)

Cox draws on Energy Justice to critique the 100 percent renewables vision that has been promoted, primarily, by the research of Mark Jacobson at Stanford. Previous Energy News Updates have mentioned Jacobson’s research as well as the recently published technical critiques. But Cox’s approach is important because he asks a very tough question: “what are we hoping for?” He argues that if we hope renewables will carry us along at a high-energy economic rate of growth then our expectations are bound to be dashed. But more importantly, that business-as-usual growth only ensures the economic and social inequalities that exist today will continue into the future. The need for an energy revolution provides an opportunity for us to change the way we think not just about technical problems and solutions, but also about our aspirations of a society as a whole. He suggests a pretty heavy handed solution: establish regulatory limits on the total quantity of energy consumed in production and consumption. For some I imagine this will bring to mind words like “planned economy”, an idea which of course comes with some pretty heavy historical baggage. Regardless, his argument deserves critical consideration, particularly as we confront the way the climate negotiations are being manipulated in Bonn this week. Cox is correct to argue that, politically speaking, the Paris negotiations of 2015 seem far away from where we are today. This seems to be further evidenced by a recent Reuters report of how the fossil fuel industry now views issues like Peak Oil.

Peak oil? Majors aren’t buying into the threat from renewables (Reuters)

Overall, I think Cox’s message is that there is still a lot of hard work yet to be done. Maybe the rest of this update stimulates you into action…which is why this week begins with:


Activism

Solar XL (350.org)

This idea to install solar panels on the land where a pipeline is planned to be buried seems a pretty savvy way to stay ahead of the discourse promoted by the fossil fuel industry. But we will have to pay attention to how these interventions play out. Alternatively, I suppose you could just go to a Fossil Free House Party ??!! (I wish this was a joke from the Onion…but sadly it is not)


Efficiency

How much energy do those programs save? New tool aims to track and boost efficiency (UtilityDive)


Finance

Hedge funds go all-in on oil (Reuters)

With hedge funds now making money off of the expectation of a steady demand for oil consumption what incentive is there for Big Finance to promote investments in renewables over fossil fuels? Of course, if you’d like a less cynical perspective see here

BP, Shell lead plan for blockchain-based platform for energy trading (Reuters)

Canadian dollar loosens close ties with oil on energy investment doubts (Reuters)

China’s CEFC, Rosneft to study South China petrochemical complex (Reuters)

Two interesting things to note: 1) These petrochemical complexes have been the target of protests throughout China since 2007. 2) Hainan has been an extremely popular vacation spot for wealthy Russian tourists for at least the past decade.

U.S. Justice pledges to prosecute activists who damage pipelines (Reuters)

EU plans rule change to snag Russian pipeline (Reuters)

Keystone XL pipe has adequate commercial support (Reuters)

Kinder Morgan Canada denied expedited appeal for oil pipeline (Reuters)

Court lifts stay for Williams Atlantic Sunrise natgas pipe (Reuters)


Politics

Peruvian farmer squares up to German power giant in climate lawsuit (Reuters)

A truly fascinating case. Perhaps a glimpse of what lies ahead in terms of climate litigation against fossil fuel corporations?

Lebanese offshore oil and gas licensing round continues despite political crisis (Reuters)

Europe and China to raise global climate ambitions (China Dialogue)

With CoP 23 in full swing some of the comments in this exchange are important. Particularly the way Zou Ji explains Chinese investments in coal fired power plants overseas.

Transocean Oil loses Singapore fuel supply licence in crackdown (Reuters)

There’s a Shady Puerto Rico Contract You Didn’t Hear About (Intercept)

Puerto Rico Cancels Whitefish Energy Contract to Rebuild Power Lines (NYTimes)

This decision was actually made just hours after I published the last News update.  Sadly (but perhaps not surprisingly) power generation went down to 18% yesterday after a transmission line “repaired” by Whitefish went down.

Puerto Rico oversight head urges Congress to reaffirm federal control over PREPA (UtilityDive)

Five things the new government should do to help Kenya meet its energy needs (Conversation)

Ex-BP official received payouts, perks (Washington Times)

U.S. withdraws from extractive industries anti-corruption effort (Reuters)

U.S. energy chief says fossil fuels could help prevent sexual assaults in Africa (Reuters)

Scientists decry Arctic oil expansion in letter to U.S. senators (Reuters)

Icahn subpoenaed by U.S. on biofuels dealing (Reuters)


Technology

These New Solar Cells Are Modeled After a Fly’s Eye (Smithsonian)

Very cool to see an article like this in the Smithsonian.

JinkoSolar’s Monocrystalline PERC Solar Cell Efficiency of 23.45% Verified (EnergyTrend)

Enevate Announces 5-Minute Extreme Fast Charge Battery Technology for Electric Vehicles (EnergyTrend)


Transportation

Honda at fault in complaint over Pakistan gasoline, oil cos say (Reuters)

This Hybrid Electric Jet is Preparing for Takeoff in 2022 (IEEE)

China plans pilot scheme easing foreign auto firms’ ownership limits (Reuters)

Odd-Even Scheme: IGL to issue CNG stickers for vehicles from Friday (India Times)


Biofuel

U.S. sets final anti-subsidy duties on Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel (Reuters)

Ethanol-based fuel becomes top-selling petrol in France on tax break (Reuters)

New bio-fuel policy soon to address Delhi smog like situations (India Times)

Brazil mills eye corn-cane flex plant to extend production cycle (Reuters)


Coal

Indian power plant blast death toll climbs to 29 (Reuters)

Duke’s Answer to Saving Coal Power Plants: Let Them Burn Gas (Bloomberg)

Empire plans pivot to wind energy generation: Proposed plan would close Asbury coal plant (Joplin Globe)

China may bankroll Adani’s Carmichael mine, statements show (Guardian)

Don’t protest movement of coal, oppose pollution (India Times)

Michael Bloomberg’s ‘war on coal’ goes global with $50m fund (Guardian)

Italy keeps foot on gas as it calls for early end to coal (Reuters)

Climate activists stage protest at German coal-fired power plant (AP)

US firm Air Products, China’s Yankuang plan to build $3.5 bln coal-to-syngas plant in China (Reuters)


Gas

As China faces winter gas crunch, LNG prices soar (Reuters)

Amazing how nearly every article about natural gas for the past week has somehow been connected to the PRC’s shift to the resource for winter heating in the north.

China deal seen as no guarantee for Alaska LNG export project (Reuters)

China Energy Investment signs MOU for $83.7 bln in West Virginia projects (Reuters)

CNPC plans to cut gas supplies to industrial users (Reuters)

Six years after tremors halted fracking, Britain ready to try again (Reuters)


Hydropower

China says will keep talking to Myanmar over stalled dam scheme (Reuters)

Post-Doklam, India, Bhutan hold bilateral development talks (IANS)

BCUC report casts shadow over Site C future (Toronto Metro)

For those interested in the detailed report see here

House acts to boost hydro, simplify licensing process (UtilityDive)

Hydroelectric dams threaten Brazil’s mysterious Pantanal – one of the world’s great wetlands (Conversation)

Honduran authorities define details of planned hydroelectric plants (Hydroworld)

112-MW Gribo-Popoli hydropower project in Western Africa moving forward (Hydroworld)


Marine

Marine energy company in Scotland makes plans to further investment towards commercialization (Hydroworld)

OERA announces $1.25 million funding for tidal energy research in Canada (Hydroworld)


Nuclear

Nuclear accident sends ‘harmless’ radioactive cloud over Europe (Guardian)

It is not the radioactive cloud that actually makes me worried, rather it is the fact that no one knows (or will admit) where it came from…

Cameco to suspend production from McArthur River mine, reduce dividend (Reuters)

Iran acquires atomic battery technology (IANS)

Is Zuma’s nuclear gamble still in play? (Daily Maverick)

End may be nearing for Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (San Francisco Chronicle)

French nuclear safety authority to rule on EDF reactor lifespan in 2020-21 (Reuters)

France to take a decade longer to reduced reliance on nuclear (Reuters)


Petroleum

Sri Lanka limits fuel supplies after delay in import shipment (Reuters)

Sri Lanka gets 40,000 tonnes of petrol from UAE amid fuel shortage (Reuters)

Oil turns from Modi’s blessing to burden threatening economy (Bloomberg)

Ghana’s maritime boundary victory to spark crude oil bounty (AFP)

Anger seethes on margins of historic clean-up in Nigeria’s Delta (Reuters)

Exxon Will Pay $2.5 Million for Pollution at Gulf Coast Plants (NYTimes)

Shell Enchilada oil platform in Gulf of Mexico shut after fire (Reuters)

Russia’s Yaroslavl refinery back to normal after fire (Reuters)

Saudi oil supplies to Bahrain resumed after pipeline blast (Reuters)

Kenya offers bigger share of oil revenue to local communities (Reuters)

U.S. oil service firms face hit from Venezuela debt restructuring (Reuters)

Chevron green lights its first Canadian shale development (Reuters)

Shell to hand over Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield by end June 2018 (Reuters)

Iraqi Kurds’ Independence Vote Exposed Risks to Energy Strategy (NYTimes)

Iraq’s Kurdistan makes $100 million monthly payment to oil producers despite crisis (Reuters)


Solar

Sterling and Wilson Expands Its Solar EPC Footprint in Australia (EnergyTrend)

Solar scam retrains focus on corruption under Congress’ watch (India Times)

More work needed to widen renewables, solar (IANS)


Wind

As Wind Power Sector Grows, Turbine Makers Feel the Squeeze (NYTimes)

Germany’s KfW lends $70 mln for Bosnian wind project (Reuters)


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